Seldom Scene Scene It All

Seldom Scene have never been known as the most reverentially traditional bluegrass band and their first recording in four years, with Ben Eldridge being the only remaining founding member, doesn't do a lot to change that reputation. The CD opens with a smoking bluegrass version of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' And Tumblin'." Then they crank through a couple of more traditional numbers from Jim And Jesse ("I Will Always Be Waiting For You") and Bill Monroe ("Blue And Lonesome"), before moving on to tackle Dylan's "Boots Of Spanish Leather," Springsteen's "One Step Up" and Chuck Berry's "Nadine." The band is tight and can pick with the best of them, and the harmonies are high and close. It's undeniably good, but that last intangible, that spark that kicks something over the top from damn good and into truly great, is missing. It's close, real close, but no cigar this time around. (Sugar Hill)